“It’s more important to be the Gospel to others, then to preach to them”.
Would you AGREE or DISAGREE with this statement?
A poll was recently taken of Christians at a conservative evangelical convention, 69% of them agreed with the statement above, 23% disagreed, and 8% were unsure of the statement.
I believe some of these numbers were also taken from people who might have been confused by the question or assumed different ideas of what “Be” or “Preach” actually means. The question at hand is what does the Bible say about this and how can we apply the Word to our lives?
Romans 10:17 – “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”
Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Paul says that faith comes from hearing which would also be preaching due to the fact someone cannot hear you if you are only “being” the Gospel. The way we live our lives is crucial when we claim to be a follower of Christ, yes, that is not what is in question. It’s what do we do with the Gospel and how will others ever hear it? Learn it?
You could make the case from phrases such as “Be the Gospel” or “Live the Gospel”, those are equivalent to the fact that we are saved by works because by “being or living it”, we are saying that we have something to do with it when in reality, it is nothing about us and all about Him. There is another popular quote out there going for the same idea that most of us have heard, “Preach the Gospel at all times — If necessary, use words.” – Saint Francis of Assisi.
If necessary, use words? It definitely necessary to use words. It seems that if I was “living the Gospel” and someone was watching my life, how would that person ever know they are in need of a Savior and how would that person ever understand what Christ has done on his/her behalf? In fact, I am scared to think that someone would look at my life only for representation of the Gospel without hearing it, because they would see a Christian who daily struggles and needs Jesus more and more and never understand their own need of a Savior.
Now I understand there is another side to this. Some people may read this statement and think “It’s important to live out the Gospel as opposed to getting in someone’s face and preaching it over and over again.” There is no question that if someone who preaches the Gospel is not relational, not loving, and is down right screaming in your face with a mega phone, obviously that is going to be a problem, but I also believe that these days we hear a word like “Preach” and immediately start thinking someone screaming or yelling or being rude about things, when this is not the case.
Paul says also in Romans (see above) that it is by the power of the Gospel. Meaning, it’s the Gospel that will save people, absolutely nothing that we can do, but we should be preaching to Gospel to others and making disciples, out of love and being led by the Holy Spirit. It’s at least something to think about. Even when we assume our neighbor or our friend has heard the Gospel before, that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t preach it to them. If we have never preached the Gospel ourselves to someone else and have only “lived it”, how can we stand before Christ and tell Him we did well according to His Word?
Pray, seek out those people in your life, and explain to them why you live the way you do, aka, Preach the Gospel to them. Yes, be relational and loving to them at all times and don’t put a mega phone to their face, but at least tell them…even once…that Jesus paid the penalty for their sins on the cross and since you have put your faith and trust in Him, THAT is why you live the way you do.
When is the last time you preached the Gospel to someone?
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.